Stenholm was the last of the so-called "boil weevil" southern Democrats who worked with the Republicans to pass the Reagan budgets in the 1980s. A fiscal, anti-labor hawk, Stenholm was often a thorn in the side of liberal Democrats like former House Speaker Thomas P. 'Tip' O'Neill, D-Mass., but always resisted GOP entreaties that he change parties.
Thursday CRFB President Maya MacGuineas called Stenholm, "an invaluable player" in federal budget debates and praised his ability to focus the country "on long-term fiscal challenges."
A member of the House for 25 years, Stenholm was defeated in his 2004 bid for re-election after he was placed in the same congressional district with a Republican colleague.
The CRFB is a bipartisan organization that educates the public about the federal budget process and is led by former House Budget committee leaders Bill Frenzel, R-Minn., and Leon Panetta, D-Calif.